Friday, December 21, 2012
I love Christmas and have had so much time lately to devote to pursuits that I enjoy because of a little challenge I had for myself; to get all gifts purchased by advent. This Christmas season has been by far the most peaceful and low key that I can remember. Definitely a challenge I intend to extend to future years. Here are just a few of the things that have been crafted in the past few weeks.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Love these boys
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
We figured a little levity was needed, what better way to bring a smile than to dress a toddler up as a farmer, tractor included.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
This time I have more faith
This time I am stronger
Last time I had no idea
no idea that my dream would come true
that I would have a little boy to love
that he would bring me so much joy
and if last time never happened
I would have never had my Bug
So I walk in this moment
knowing I've walked here before
and come through the other side
and I know it will be alright.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
He runs everywhere and is usually laughing. He can be extremely cautious with some things and absolutely fearless with others. He loves walks and grabs my fingers for walks often, he even loves walks that he rides in the stroller for. He loves bike rides and really really wants to ride our bikes. He will try to get on every time we have them out.
He talks all the time and I love that he can tell me more what he needs and wants. I love that he understands us more now as well.
Well that's it for now. I'll definitely try to update more as time definitely flies by and I want to hold on to these memories we are making now.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Realizing the depth of love
Surprised at your capacity
The tiniest flutter
Realizing the reward
Of great risk
Loving one so much
That your very breath
Is controlled by theirs
Monday, February 06, 2012
Last week we had some gorgeous days so Bug and I took the opportunity and went to the playground. Bug loved it and was running around like a madman. He's such a social little guy and was having such a fun time just being around all those kids. It was a big playground so I spent my time chasing Bug around making sure he was safe. I stopped short when I looked up and I saw that Bug was completely encased in my shadow. It just struck me that no matter how hard I try I can't keep my Bug safe from everything, the realization took my breath away. There is One who loves him even more than I do and in His shadow I pray he will dwell all of his days.
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Friday, February 03, 2012
My first step to planning is taking stock of what I have in the fridge/pantry that needs to be used up. This week I have some leftover beef stock from making crock pot roast beef sandwiches, zucchini and ham that I want to use up.
So lets start from there with the leftover beef broth, I'd like to make Risotto. I found a great recipe online that sounds delicious! Now I'm not using tenderloin for this, I'm using leftover chuck roast. That's another one of my big ways of saving money, really stretching our meat and using cheaper cuts. We really just use meat to add flavor and see it as a side not the main component. Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration and I saw these healthy Zucchini chips that I'd love to try. The ham is just begging to be made into Spit Pea Soup, YUM!!
Beef Risotto-I'll be using some mushrooms we have in the fridge for this, so we have everything in house to make this except for the wine. I'm also using Aborrio rice instead of the carnaroli rice the recipe calls for (Aborrio is also a great Risotto rice). As a side I want to make Zucchini chips because I think that would brighten up the heaviness of the meal, Also I'd like to bring them to the Superbowl party we are going to Sunday but want to try out the recipe beforehand.
SUPERBOWL!! We were invited to a friends house so I just wanted to bring a couple things, the first being the Zucchini chips and the second is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip. These look delicious! For the Cookie Dough Dip I'll bring some apples as well as Graham Crackers to dip.
Monday I'll be babysitting so its a great day to use my crockpot for some Split Pea Soup. We have some Ezekiel bread that will hold up nicely toasted with this soup! Another meal we don't need to buy anything for.
Spicy Honey Chicken, Brown Rice and Broccoli. For this we buy our Chicken from Trader Joes and get Organic Cage Free thighs for 4.99 lb. It is a bit pricy but this will be the only meal this week that is featuring meat and using more than a lb.
Another Pinterest find is Coconut, Shrimp and Corn Chowder. This looks delicious and we happen to have some wild caught shrimp in the freezer and all the ingredients in the pantry.
Dahl with Spinach served with brown rice. One of the hubs favorite foods is Dahl, which is awesome because its cheap and nutritious! We often do vegetarian nights to save cash. Thankfully the hubs will eat everything! If your family isn't big on the vegetarian bandwagon try to cook foods from other cultures, they might be so fooled by the new flavors that they will not even realize that they are eating vegetarian!
Pizza! Pizza crust is cheap and easy to make yourself. Pizza is also a great fridge emptier; take your veggies, leftover meats, cheese ends and use them up! One of my friends parents instituted pizza night at their house when we were younger. Everyone was invited and they just made pizza after pizza. It was so fun and delicious and everyone ended up there on Friday nights! Something I definitely want to start doing in our house!
So as far as our menu plan goes here is what I need to buy: Garbonzo Beans, Graham Crackers, Onions, Garlic, Broccoli, Spinach, Chicken Thighs and Corn. As you can see I'm relying heavily on what is in my pantry so I really only need to pick up a few things to make our dinners. Now I go through and add in some of the other things we'll need this week: fruit, yogurt, milk, eggs. For our breakfasts we either eat eggs, oatmeal or smoothies so I try to have those things in the house at all times. Lunches generally are leftovers. Now that I'm all done figuring what we are eating this week I go through my house and see what needs to be re-filled. I like to keep a well stocked pantry (flour, sugar, oatmeal, beans, coffee, butter, peanut butter, tuna, jelly, baking needs, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, olive oil, etc). Once I see what I need to replenish I check the sales and see if there is anything there that I can buy in bulk. This week my groceries I need will probably only cost $40-45 so I have about $30-35 to restock my pantry or stock up on sales items. Sometimes I'll use this extra if I see good sales and sometimes I will roll it into the next weeks budget to save up in case there is a good sale on meat or I'm close to needing a high priced item (maple syrup, oils, etc). I'll also use the surplus to sometimes treat us to takeout.
What are you making this week?
Garbonzo Beans-3 cans (1 for the dip and 2 for pantry as I used mine up this week on hummus)
Monday, January 30, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
A few of my friends have been asking me how we afford to eat organic foods after they watched Food Inc. After some discussion I was a little shocked to know that we had almost the same grocery budget (mine was $5 more a week). I was asked to tell how to eat clean foods on a budget. Let me give you a little background on this, I started on this lifestyle shortly after we got married and have gradually gotten "crunchier". We make some choices that have been viewed as extreme in order to be able to fit this into our budget. I view our budget as a game of "Would You Rather", lets dive in a bit.
In our home we:
use rags for cleaning
use cloth napkins for food
clean with vinegar and baking soda
line dry whatever clothes that we can
change our own oil and do car repairs that we can (well the hubby does these)
mend our own clothes
try to learn new skills rather than paying someone to do them for us (plumbing, electrical, etc)
buy used "beater" cars with cash
stockpile food either by buying in bulk for better prices or by buying the max amount of a sale price
shop at multiple stores for best prices
buy used clothing for the whole family if possible
bake from scratch instead of buying convenience foods
turn off lights like freaks
I cut my husbands hair
we don't have premium channels (and our cable is free)
we don't watch tv until the evening
we drink water for beverages
we don't have netflix or hulu plus
This is not an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea of the types of ways we cut back on our budget in other ways to accommodate the things that we find most important. What's most important to our family right now is for me to be home with our son and for all of us to eat nutritious REAL foods. Now don't think we are complete misers here. We do allow some luxuries into our life. My husband and I have a slight Starbucks addiction, we both have smartphones (his company pays for his and because we don't have to pay for a cell phone for him we use that savings for the data plan for me) and other things. We live a rich full life that we enjoy by taking stock of what's important to us and cutting things out that we don't care about. I would rather do these things and eat well than have some more conveniences and not be able to eat this way.
So I challenge you to take a look at your spending and write every single blessed thing down that you spend your money on. Once you have a month of that take a look at what you are spending your money on and figure out if there are things you can do to reduce that number. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and you don't need to make complete and drastic changes overnight but just little steps in the right direction. Figure out what the most important change to you is (for me it was buying organic milk and cage free organic eggs) and make that change this month. If you have questions or scenarios that you want to know more about let me know and we can address them in future posts. I'm not the authority on this but whatever knowledge I have I'd be happy to pass on.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Shortly after my mom finished her treatments the hub's mom got horribly ill. For awhile we weren't sure if she would make it. Thankfully she is home now recuperating. I'm praying that 2012 is a year of health for our family.
During this time we have really just been focusing on being with our families and helping as much as we can. I'm thankful I am home and can help when needed. I'm more thankful that both our Mom's are ok.